What exactly is Gianduja?
Gianduja is a rich smooth chocolate confection traditionally made by blending hazelnuts to a paste and mixing with cocoa, cocoa butter and sugar.
The history of gianduja dates back to Napoleonic times when cocoa was scarce. Piedmont residents and Turin chocolatiers turned to their local resource - the hazelnut - blending the finely milled hazelnut with cocoa, cocoa butter and sugar to produce a smooth gianduja.
Where does the name come from?
‘Gianduja’ was a Carnival character who represented the archetypal Piedmontese, a native of the Italian region Piedmont - literally ‘foot of the mountain’ - in the north west where Turin was the capital. The Gianduja character handed out these foil wrapped chocolates during carnival time in 1865 and the name stuck - gianduiotti.
What types of Gianduja are there?
Gianduja chocolates can be made by changing the hazelnut/ cocoa/ cocoa butter quantities or with the addition of flavourings such as coffee or vanilla. Darker varieties have increased cocoa content to produce a more ‘bitter’ taste. Added milk or decreased cocoa produce a creamier, milk flavour. Gianduja pralines can also be made with pistachio, almonds and walnuts.
What is Spreadable Gianduja?
Spreadable gianduja is a thick creamy spread, usually chocolate hazelnut, which can be used on toast, pancakes, ice creams, cakes or just eaten with a spoon. The most well known gianduja spread is Nutella. Nutella uses around 13% hazelnuts for its spread. Traditional gianduja spreads, such as Bonieri’s, contain up to 50% hazelnuts.